The interior ministry has asked parties for time to consult with the attorney-general over legal and constitutional matters possibly emerging from the discussion in parliament of local authority reform.

Committee chairperson Eleni Mavrou said the ministry had asked parties to give it some time before finalising their positions.

Mavrou said the committee agreed although the ministry did not specify how much time it would need.

“I understand the minster and the attorney-general do not think it is a matter that can remain open indefinitely and I hope we will have the views of the Legal Service soon,” Mavrou said.

Opposition parties have thrown a spanner in the reform after including the need for local referendums to decide whether the people wanted to merge with other communities, a key component of the reform.

President Nicos Anastasiades said if a referendum takes place there should be only one and not many local polls.